Articles Posted in Endangering the Welfare of a Child

Local municipalities throughout the Garden State make numerous traffic stops and subsequent arrests for driving under the influence of alcohol. As DUI defense attorneys understand the ins and outs of this state’s legal system.

Whether it is a case of drunk driving where the motorist has been arrested at one of many sobriety roadblocks, or if an individual is caught in possession of marijuana in a motor vehicle or otherwise operating a car under the influence of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS), the situation may be similar to numerous other arrests in the news every week.

Serving motorists in Monmouth, Bergen and other counties throughout the state, our suggestion is to always consult with a drunken driving defense lawyer to better understand your particular situation. The following list of recent DWI/DUI arrests by Little Falls, NJ, police is just an illustration of the kinds of drunk driving offenses that happen every day across the county.

Marijuana Possession in a Vehicle
On a Thursday evening in September, a patrolman stopped a driver for having illegally tinted windows on his vehicle. Walking up to the driver’s side of the car, the officer detected what he suspected was the odor of burning cannabis, or marijuana, emanating from the vehicle. During a voluntary search of the 19-year-old suspect’s car, the policeman discovered several plastic bags filled with marijuana. The officer subsequently arrested the man, who was reportedly a resident of Paterson, NJ.

During an early morning traffic stop on a Friday, Little Falls police officers pulled a vehicle over for speeding along a section of eastbound Route 46. The patrolmen noticed that the driver was exhibiting signs of being drunk. The officers then requested that the 28-year-old female driver perform several field sobriety tests to determine if the woman was impaired by alcohol. After failing the tests, police arrested the driver. A subsequent blood-alcohol content (BAC) test was performed by the officer indicating that the driver had a BAC in excess of the 0.08 percent limit. She was then arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI).
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A former Yankee and Mets ball player was recently collared by New Jersey police on charges of driving under the influence of drugs. According to news reports, 45-year-old Dwight Gooden — major league baseball ace pitcher — was allegedly operating a motor vehicle in a drug-impaired condition with a child riding as a passenger.

As a New Jersey drunk driving defense lawyer, I know how serious this kind of charge can be, especially when a minor child may have been knowingly or unknowingly put in jeopardy because of the driver’s actions. This is why I always recommend that people who are accused of DWI, drug DUI, breath test refusal or other traffic offense tied to driving while impaired contact a qualified legal professional as soon as possible.

In this case, Gooden was placed under arrest on a Tuesday morning for the drug DUI offense as well as reckless driving and leaving the scene of an accident. The fact that the man may have been involved in a possible accident makes the situation that much more critical.

A significant amount of press has been generated concerning the recently enacted NY state law governing drunk driving with a child. The law was the byproduct of a horrific DWI accident last year wherein eight individuals died as a result of an intoxicated housewife. The new law imposes a mandatory jail sentence for up to four (4) years in prison. The question that has been posed to me by several individuals is whether NJ has and/or is proposing a similar law. My response has been – YES.

In New Jersey, a parent or adult who commits a DWI with a child in the car is exposed to a charge of Endangering the Welfare of a Child. This offense is often filed as a Second Degree Crime, especially where an accident and injury is involved. A second degree offense like endangering carries a period of incarceration of between 5 and 10 years in prison.

A DWI case in NJ obviously becomes much more complicated when the operation involves a minor occupying the subject vehicle. This has been the situation for many years now unlike what has more recently occurred in New York. Notwithstanding, we have found that the vast majority of these cases can be resolved without any form of incarceration.

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